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Music and mateship the best medicine

Career-long friends and country music stars Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole consider themselves somewhere between siblings and tour spouses.

The combination makes for “madness and chaos” on stage, bickering behind the scenes and a whole lot of laughs, the pair say.

“I had a baby on the road backstage and Adam would help look after him. That baby is about to turn 24, so that’s how long that’s been,” Cole tells AAP.

“The friendship was pretty instant. We second-guess each other now, finish each other’s sentences. It’s a friendship borne out of good times and bad.

“Adam’s wife – who I’m good friends with as well – calls me the road wife.”

The pair have recorded albums together, toured nationally 13 times and have otherwise crossed paths on the country music circuit for almost their entire careers.

“We’ve been to the chemist for each other – that’s how close we are,” Cole laughs.

The bond forged between them has been invaluable to both, but never more so than when Cole recently went through a difficult time in her personal life.

Struggling through a painful divorce and diagnosed with adjustment trauma, the 49-year-old was suffering.

“It was a really tough time to go through. I lost my will, I’ll be honest with you,” she says.

“Adam checked on me as a friend quite often. The focus this week is on ‘are you OK?’ – and that’s what he asked me constantly.”

At first, Cole wasn’t even able to come to the phone and the messages would be passed on by her family. Eventually, the pair spoke.

“He said ‘what can I do?’, and I said, ‘if I get through this you can tour with me, because that’s my happy place’.”

Cole’s wish came true: she and Harvey begin their 50-date national tour this weekend to coincide with the release of their album Great Country Songbook Vol. 3.

Harvey says he jumped at the chance to work with Cole, knowing being on stage would be the ultimate medicine for his long-time friend.

“I knew that if she could just get out on stage and let her audience share the love and support that they have for her, I knew it would be a pretty big step forward for Bec’s mental health,” he says.

“When you see one of your best mates really down and out in a really dark place, and you see them again and they’re just shining … it’s so good to see.

“I reckon Beccy Cole is the best live entertainer I’ve ever seen and working with her, honestly, it’s just magic to be on stage.”

Their mateship is accompanied by its fair share of bickering, but the duo say they are as fiercely protective as a brother and sister.

“No one dare say anything to me about Adam Harvey, because I’ll go ’em,” Cole says, adding that her 2022 is shaping up much better than it began in no small part thanks to her friend.

“Adam orchestrated the whole year. Got the band together, organised the album and the whole tour. All I need to do is turn up and sing. That is a friend. I’m very blessed.

“I have found the humour in everything again and I found my reason to be on stage and I absolutely love it.

“And I couldn’t do it this early without my friend next to me – that’s what this is all about.”

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